Welcome to our article on helping you understand what board shorts are and why they might be the summer shorts for you.

Your probably looking up the difference between board shorts and swim trunks. Whats the difference between the two? How do each fit? What pair of swim shorts will best fit my body and style I wear? What to wear under board shorts or swim trunks?

Let me help you in crossing one of those questions off your list with explaining what board shorts are.

What Are Board Shorts

What Are Board Shorts?

Board Shorts are a form of swimming shorts worn by Men, Women or any gender. The critical difference between board shorts and other swimming shorts is that the board short goes to knee length or longer. Unlike other swimming trunks, that you will wear in freshwater lakes, pools or in the ocean that only go mid-leg or shorter in length.

Board shorts originated in Hawaii and were quickly adapted into the surfing culture as the go-to swim shorts to wear while riding the waves. In the early 2000s, board shorts became more mainstream as the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) gained in popularity, and most of their fighters wore variations of the board short. 

Board shorts are made from polyester or nylon, durable material that can hold up in active settings like surfing, MMA or working out in the gym. There is no inner mesh lining in them which allows you to be active in them for long periods without creating a rash on your inner things. The loose-fitting style of a board short helps dry the shorts faster. 

Wearing board shorts will allow you to dry off faster, and the length of the shorts with full pockets can also allow you to wear them around town afterward. For many people, this is the selling point for buying board shorts over shorter swim trunks.

If you have a product page open right now, use our guide on how to measure your short inseam to see what length suits you best.

Board shorts benefits

  • Breathable materials
  • Leg won’t ride up
  • Comfortable fit
  • Long length
  • No inner lining


The main difference between swim trunks and board shorts is that board shorts’ length goes to your knee or past it. While swim trunks are much shorter.

You do not need to wear anything under board shorts, but you can wear boxer briefs if you feel more comfortable.

Board shorts got their name from only being worn by surfers in the 50s and 60s. They wore them while surfing the waves on their ‘surfboard.’

Why wouldn’t girls wear board shorts? Board shorts are stylish shorts that can be worn in the water or around town, and there is no gender ownership to them.